Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

So, I've spent about an hour trying to pick the very best template for our blog with the updated blogger format. I finally got it all taken care of, when I went to a friends blog and noticed that she had the exact same template, and now mine was just a replica of an already cool blog that I now copied. Ugh. So, sorry Jill, but my blog is going to copy yours for the time being because I just can't stand the thought of formatting any more tonight!

I started thinking about his very thing a little more. Moms spend a lot of time making sure they give their kids "the very best" even if its just a family blog with "the very best" template background. I recently read an amazing article about the pressure today's mom puts on herself by looking through various magazines, Pinterest, and Facebook. The temptation to compare is severe, and the outcome almost always leaves me feeling unworthy.

Last March, for Emily's birthday, she asked me if I would make her red velvet cupcakes. Now I've never made red velvet anything. Is it a southern thing? Because I don't remember eating them growing up either. Regardless, I set out to my favorite Publix determined to make "the very best red velvet cupcakes" ever. No mind that I hadn't made them before. No box cake mix for me, no sir! I would make only the best for my sweet Emily! I was armed with my iPhone and a list of ingredients that Paula Dean assured me would leave those first graders amazed. It was if somehow the most important thing in life was to be deemed Cupcake Goddess by a class of seven year olds.

I came home and baked, frosted, and sprinkled until I had what I thought was the very best cupcake ever. The batter had baked up creating the perfect "cupcake top." I had mixed up a batch of my homemade frosting, and piped it on with my special frosting tip. I had matched the sprinkles to the cupcake paper perfectly. These were some dynamite cupcakes if I do say so myself!

Scott had eaten one, and had deemed them a success. I anxiously waited for Em to get out of the shower to come downstairs and marvel at the cupcakes. When she finally made her way downstairs, she gasped. "Oh mommy! Those are fabulous! I bet they taste even better! I can't wait to bring them to school mommy! Oh thank you! I bet these are going to be the best happy birthday cupcakes we've ever had in our class!"

Then she walked away, and I beamed. Success!

But wait....

She got half-way up the stairs, and turned around and came back down. She bursted by over-sized cupcake bubble with this,

"Well mommy. Did I ever tell you about the cupcakes Anne's* mom made for our class? Because they were really pretty too. And they tasted so good! I bet your cupcakes will taste just as good as the cupcakes Anne's mommy made"

I thought to myself, "Okay, I can handle coming in with a tie to Anne's mommy. That's not so bad, right"

But then Emily let the final blow fly when she said, "But the thing about Anne's mommy... she waited for our entire class to eat them..." (she said this with extreme enthusiasm) "... and when we were all done and there was frosting over all our faces and we were saying how good they were, Anne's mommy waited for us to be completely totally done eating. And then Anne's mommy told us that there was actually zucchini and tomato juice in those cupcakes! Can you believe it mom? Anne's mommy made cupcakes that were pretty, they tasted so good, AND they had an entire serving of vegetables! That's amazing, huh mom?"

With that, my sweet Emily walked back up the stairs to brush her teeth. I looked over at Scott who was pretending to read the newspaper to conceal his wide eyes and sheepish grin.

And then I burst out laughing. Right then and there my life had turned in to a sit-com. I had the power to turn the ending in to a sobbing emotional wreck of a mommy moment (think Debra from Everybody Loves Raymond) or I could turn it into a Hallmark Hall of Fame moment where I realized that my love to my daughter doesn't exist through the perfection of red velvet cupcakes. (Cue cheesy music here.)

The entire thing was rather hysterical.

Now, on Mother's Day, I look back on this and pray that somehow I will find and maintain that balance between wanting to do and be all that I can for my sweet Emily, Elsie, and Eli, but also catch myself from comparing to others. There are many things I will never learn to do. But I have to constantly remind myself that my kids don't care so much about things I do, create, make, or achieve as much as they care about me loving them. And as long as they know how much I love them, it doesn't matter if my cupcakes don't have vegetables in them!

*I changed Emmy's friend's name :)

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Happy Third Birthday Eli and Elsie!

We had a little backyard birthday party for Eli and Elsie yesterday. Our friends and neighbors joined us. When we were planning for this event, we went to the party store to buy some themed plates and napkins, just for the cake table. Eli chose Hotwheels and Elsie chose Tinker Bell. I thought I could get away with buying an extra-large hot wheel and have a "Tinker Bell riding in a Hotwheel" cake. But alas, that didn't happen. I ended up making two cakes: One yellow with chocolate frosting with a hot wheel for the Eli, and a strawberry with strawberry cake with Tinker Bell for Miss Pink.
One of my favorite parts of the day was when Eli got to give Elsie a gift he'd picked out for her. Elsie has this doll house that she loves, but she is always trying to find a "friend" for the doll house "purple mommy." Which means she tries to use a Barbie doll to be friends with the much smaller doll house "purple mommy", and all is well until she puts them in the doll house mini-van. Barbie won't fit, the purple mommy always cries and end up going to the grocery store alone, without her friend. It always ends with tears. So... Eli and I went to pick out a gift for Elsie, and he found a new mommy to be friends with the doll house mommy. And to make it even better, she comes with a pony that she can ride. Elsie was elated when she opened it, and the only way to describe Eli's face was "proud." It was awesome to see him filled with joy upon giving his sister a gift. Of course Elsie had a gift for Eli too, which was a car with flashing lights. No surprise here: Eli loved it.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Updated Stuff

I've got to be better about updating my blog. I guess the first thing to do would be to take Tim's suggestion and add some recent pictures. This is Miss Elsie. Her hair keeps growing, and I figure as long as I can run a brush through it and keep it braided and tied back, we'll keep letting it grow. I can't imagine cutting off those little curls from the bottom.
THis was taken by the neighborhood pool. I love this picture. It captures so much of Eli's personality.
My grandmother sent a card to each of the twins. Again, I love how this captures their sweet personality. They couldn't wait to see what was inside, and when "paper money" fell out of the card, they both squealed! Emily has taught them how far a dollar can go at the dollar store!
I ran my first half-marathon a couple weeks ago. I think I will do it again. Having my sweet husband with the kids cheering me on at the finish line was one of the best things ever. Totally worth another 13.1 to experience their excitement for me when I finished.
This one is of Miss Em this past Sunday at the AWANA awards banquet. Notice the two missing teeth. The top two are both wiggly. Its pretty cute to see her toothless grin!